Statement Regarding VA's Latest M-21 Changes


I do not believe it is necessary to go into the general absurdities that comprise the VA's release of new rules for Blue Water Navy claims. It really said very little that was "new" except that certain areas have now been stripped of their designation as inland waterways. John Wells provides a good overview of the issues.

The "line across the mouth of the river" has been used with the Inland Water Services List to identify ships that were geographically within the boundaries of the mainland since that project began in late 2009. When any part of a ship crossed that line, it could then be listed as having served inland for purposes of being included on the Ships List. Most of what the new release says is old hat... but it is the first time it has been formally written. The shock comes from a different source. It is the continued and absolute attitude of BETRAYAL that staggers the mind rather than the written presentation.

I think this will hasten the actions of both House and Senate to pass the legislation. But I don't think the VA would have released that update if they had not been assured by the White House that Obama's signature would never end up on the Blue Water Navy Act (S-681 and HR-969). So we move toward the final battle, and the VA has once again been successful in making everyone wait. It has been 10 months since the Gray Ruling. Delay, Deny, Until We Die.

These new rules do not seem to consider a key element of the CAVC rejection of the original descriptions of the VA guidelines. They need to focus on the potential of being contaminated, not on geographical features. Additionally, they did not address the river mouth discharge of the water that they admit was directly sprayed. It appears that they believe that objects in the river water either stay in the same place or pile up at the magic shield drawn across the river mouth.

We certainly won't give up either our legislative or our legal efforts, and are somewhat heartened by the further verification that we may be dealing with individuals with sub-grade rational and ethical faculties. It is also possible that this action adds a bit more evidence to the postulate that some part of the U.S. Government may feel it must do everything in its power to avoid admitting that the South China Sea was contaminated by the dioxin sprayed in Vietnam to avoid international liability; or perhaps just to ease someone's conscience. Such things we may never know. We will just continue to deal with what is put on the table.

I firmly believe that the VA is mistaken in their efforts to continue to deprive the offshore Vietnam veterans of the healthcare and compensation due to exposure to Agent Orange and given to other veterans with identical diseases and disabilities. The science and medicine that supports the Blue Water Navy cause is irrefutable. The reasoning presented by the VA is irrational and fatally flawed. We will do what is necessary to correct the VAs error in the courts and in Congress.

John Rossie
7 Feb 2016


RETURN TO The News Page